Batman/Superman #1 (DC Comics) Review

Greg Pak, Jae Lee, and Ben Oliver deliver a stunning take on the first meeting between Batman and Superman in Batman/Superman #1

There’s a whole lot of firsts going on in the pages of Batman/Superman #1. Sure, it’s the story of Batman and Superman’s first New 52 meeting, but it’s also Greg Pak’s first work for DC and the first time in who the heck knows how long that we’ve got Jae Lee interiors on a superhero project. Let’s just get this out of the way: Batman/Superman #1 is a STUNNING looking book (no, seriously, go look at the preview pages over here), and it sure would be nice to see Lee and Oliver stick around for as long as possible.But yeah, let’s get back to the firsts. I think we’re far enough into DC’s reboot that we can stop referring to it in every post we make about DC Comics, right? No? Not yet? Alright, fine. The thing is, we ARE far enough into it that I don’t think there’s much danger of DC pulling a switcheroo and rebooting things back to their pre-Flashpoint state, and it seems that with each passing month, the New 52 is taking on more and more of its own shape and character. This is good. So, as a reader, it’s now kind of COOL to see another early days story with Superman in his jeans and workboots. And since we’re only one issue into “Year Zero” over in Batman, there’s still plenty of room to explore some of Bruce’s formative years as a crime-fighter.Much like Batman #21, Batman/Superman #1 feels like a book that should have launched in September of 2011. Fans who have been wondering about the nature of the new timeline would feel right at home just stepping into either of these books. Greg Pak drops us right into the mind of a Clark Kent who sticks out like, well…like an alien in Gotham City, and it’s really terrific to see him size up Bruce (and vice versa) for the first time. Considering how much ground this issue covers (three cities, a couple of flashbacks, and what appears to be a parallel universe), there’s not a ton of exposition, and it really doesn’t take long to get into the action.But when the dialogue between Bruce and Clark is as sharp and inciteful as it is here, who needs action, right? Between this, and the recent announcement that Pak is going to be writing Action Comics starting in November, it’s safe to say that Superman is in good hands. It’s tough to get that balance between Clark and Bruce’s thoughts without it becoming a case of “happy guy” vs. “sad guy” and Pak never falls into that little trap. Plus, I don’t know whether it was Pak’s or Lee’s idea to put Bruce in his “crazy army vet” disguise from Batman: Year One, but whoever it was, it sure is a nice touch.But, Good Lord, can I talk about Jae Lee a little more before I wrap this up? It’s not just that Lee is a gifted artist (of course he is), it’s that Batman/Superman #1 simply doesn’t look a damn thing like ANYTHING else being put on the stands by Marvel or DC right now. I wish I could draw anything even a little more complex than a stick figure so I could do this some justice, but sadly, I can’t. Suffice to say, it’s dark, it’s lush, and June Chung and Daniel Brown’s colors just draw you into each panel. Even the shift between Lee’s art and Ben Oliver’s that occurs in the last few pages isn’t jarring, and serves a particular purpose in the story.This, right here, is what I call a good superhero comic. Between this and the promise shown in “Zero Year,” it feels, possibly for the first time, like the best is yet to come from DC Comics. Now, if only someone could find a way to put these two characters in a movie together…nah, forget it…this is cooler.Story: 8/10Art: 9/10Overall: 8/10Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!